ONE WAY Recommends [Issue
Rhett Miller By
The former frontman
of the Old 97's has come out with a solo album and guess what-it's pure rock!
Well, okay, folksy pop-rock, but very basic-guitar, bass, drums, a bit of keyboard,
a few backing vocals, nothing fancy. The simplicity of the music enables one to
appreciate the lyrics. Miller, a self-admitted "secret nerd" has a world
view that's slightly zany, observant but never cynical. In "Our Love"
he comments on the love lives of Kafka and Wagner; in "The El" he gets
nostalgic for the Chicago elevated trains, and "Four Eyed Girl" should
do for girls who wear glasses what Queen's "Fat Bottom Girls" did for
- well, you know. The easy-to-listen-to production is courtesy of Jon Brion, who's
worked with Aimee Mann and other introspective songwriters. Miller claims some
of this album was recorded while the musicians were wearing pajamas. Maybe that's
why it's so relaxed. It is indeed refreshing to hear a record that's just for
fun but in an intelligent way.